Saturday, May 26, 2012

Healthy Snack of the Day: Fast, Easy, and Healthy Kale Chips

Memorial Day. Need something super fast, simple, and healthy to make for then BBQ? Kale chips are a perfect! So easy, you only need three ingredients and your oven for 10 minutes! A more flavorful recipe is down below the picture!

1 bunch of kale
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of salt (this is optional, if you want to use salt, I recommend sea salt)

1-Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
2-Carefully remove the kale leaves from the stems (using a kitchen knife or shears) and tear the leaves into the size of chips that you would like.
3-Wash the leaves and dry them completely.
4-Place the leaves on the cooking sheet and then drizzle them with the olive oil and then sprinkle the salt over them.
5-Bake until the edges are brown, about 10-15 minutes.


Kale Chips with a Kick!

Want a different spin with a little more flavor?
1 bunch of kale
1 tsp of olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated)

Prepare the exact same way as above!!

DONE! ENJOY!!

Exercise of the Day: Judo Pushup

Today's Exercise of the Day is the Judo Pushup! I have been really enforcing strong upper body workouts with my clients lately, and I like to incorporate the Judo Pushup because not only is it effective, but because of the actions involved, people who are normally anti-pushups, tend to enjoy them!

judo-push-a-female.jpg
1-Start by going into a high plank position. You want your hands, wrists, and shoulders completely in line with each other. your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart. Point your index fingers straight forward, away from your body. Keep your back flat, pushing through your heels and activating your core muscles.

2-Bring your feet a few inches forward and make your self into a "v", your hips elevated (as pictured above).

3-Lower your body to the floor, leading with your chin (see below), trying to bring it in between your hands. Try to lower your chin and forehead as perpendicular to the floor as possible.

judo-push-a-female.jpg
4-Lower your hips to the floor, keeping your legs straight and your glutes active. At the same time, raise your shoulders and head upward until your arms are extended, keeping only a slight bend in your elbows. Remember to keep length throughout your spine and keep your core active.

judo-push-a-female.jpg
5-Reverse the last motion, raising your hips straight upwards to the ceiling, and lowering your chin back to the floor between your hands. Then return back to the starting position discussed in step 2, bringing your body into a slight "v" shape. This is one repetition.

Do as many repetitions as you can in 1 minute.

ENJOY!!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yoga Pose of the Day: Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose

Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose, or Utthita Hasta Pandangusthasana, is a wonderful pose for stretching your legs, primarily your hamstrings and calves, challenging your balance, and strengthening your ankles. There are multiple variations of the pose which can help further open your hips and shoulders.




1-Begin standing in Mountain Pose, creating length through your spine by pushing through your heels and extending through your head. Keep your chest up and your shoulders down away from your ears, pressing down into your back.

2-Shift your weight onto your left foot, until 98 percent of your weight is supported on your left foot.

3-When you feel balanced, begin to lift your right knee up to your chest, and place your hands on the outside of your knee and hold this position for a few deep breaths. Engage your core and find your balance here.

4-Take your right hand to the inside of your right foot and loop your index and middle fingers around your big toe.

5-As you exhale, begin to slowly extend your right foot forward, being sure to keep your torso straight. Extend to the farthest point of your flexibility or until your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Hold this extension for five deep breaths.

6-On your next inhalation, slowly bring your knee back to your chest, then exhale and lower your right foot to the floor.

7-Find yourself back in Mountain Pose, and the repeat on the other side, this time extending your left leg forward.


Want to challenge yourself and open your hips? Try Standing Hand to Big Toe Pose, B. After you have extended your leg forward to the point where it is parallel to the ground, rotate your extended leg 90 degrees to the side and gaze in the opposite direction.


NAMASTE!

Exercise of the Day: Pistol Squats

Yesterday I introduced one of the gym members to pistol squats, and her legs and glutes were on fire! This is a great exercise to get firm glutes that are also lifted, perfect for getting ready for that pool season that is almost officially here!!

Pistol squats can be modified easily, so if you're balance just is not quite ready to support it, you can place a hand on a wall or stable bench. You can also make the squats more challenging, by holding dumbbells, or strapping on ankle weights.



1-Stand with your feet placed about hip width apart, creating length in your spine, really extending through your head. You want a long, flat back, and your chest to stay up during this exercise.

2-Begin by raising your right foot a few inches off the ground, being sure that your right foot is flexed and you are grounding yourself through your left foot.

3-When you feel stable in this position, slowly start lowering yourself down into a squat, raising your right leg so that your right thigh is parallel to the ground. Be sure that you keep your torso as upright as possible to relieve your back of as much strain as possible. If this is too strenuous, you may hover your right foot closer to the floor.

4-When your left thigh is parallel to the floor, hold the squat for two to three counts, and then slowly and with control, push through your left foot and bring yourself up to the starting position discussed in Step 2, your right foot hovering slightly over the floor as you stand on your left foot. This is one repetition.

Do 15 to 20 repetitions on each leg to complete 1 set. Do a total of 2 to 3 sets.

ENJOY!!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Exercise of the Day: Plank and Superman Tabata

Want to make sure that you hit every aspect of your core in one section of your workout? Do a tabata exercise, alternating between holding plank and holding the superman. Both your abs and your back will be worked, and both exercises can be manipulated with to be more challenging,  or simple a little different to prevent boredom in your workout.

You will hold the plank position for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Hold the superman position for 20 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. This is one round. Do a total of 4 rounds, the entire exercise therefore lasting 4 minutes.

Make sure you give your back and abs a good stretch!!! Blast that core!!


Here's a picture of your standard plank. Be sure to have your elbows directly under your shoulders to avoid unnecessary strain on your shoulder and elbow joints. Push through your heels and extend through your neck, as if you are being pulled in opposite directions. Want to make it a little harder? Place your toes on a box to elevate your legs.


Here's a picture of the standard superman. This will really work your lower back, and you want to engage your glutes as well to keep your thighs off the ground. Extend your arms straight ahead of you, keeping your palms facing each other and your gaze at a point about 45 degrees ahead of you to keep your neck relaxed. You can make the superman harder by holding dumbbells in your hands, you can do superman pulses, or you can flutter your hands and feet.

So, play around with the different variations of the exercises and alternate them in a tabata-style exercise.

ENJOY!!

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